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The '''Harvard College Observatory''' ('''HCO''') is an institution managing a complex of buildings and multiple instruments used for astronomy|astronomical research by the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts|Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and was founded in 1839. With the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, it forms part of the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. HCO houses a collection of approximately 500,000 Photographic_plate#Astronomy|astronomical plates taken between the mid-1880s and 1989 (with a gap from 1953–68). This 100-year coverage is a unique resource for studying temporal variations in the universe. The Digital Access to a Sky Century @ Harvard project is digitally scanning and archiving these photographic plates.
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